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Lessons from Leading Remote

remote work Apr 27, 2022

Over the last two years we’ve learned a lot about the way we can work differently in light of a global pandemic. Adapting quickly has been demanded to address the urgent. Reflection on what can be learned may have fallen by the wayside in favor of managing the demands of unexpected and widespread changes. 

And, we’ve done pretty well! However, with the waning urgency of the pandemic, we have the optimal opportunity to engage deeper learning and introduce new ways of work that help the team and the organization accelerate growth into a new future. 

The work we need to do such as >> productivity, onboarding, work-life balance, meetings, camaraderie, scheduling work, and conversations << all happen whether we are working remote, hybrid or co-located. With our recent experience under our belt, we can step back and learn from these experiences so that we can leverage new ways of work whether we continue as remote, shift to hybrid or go back to co-located work. 

That’s what we will explore in this next blog series, starting with a little foundational work by reflecting on two questions: (1) Why work differently anyway? (2) What matters in the way we work?

Why work differently anyway?

The way work gets done has changed over the last two years. Integrating what you’ve learned through these experiences keeps you agile if you need to pivot once again in response to a crisis or rapidly changing conditions. Current realities reveal both hiring and retention issues with the return to “normal” work rhythms. The introduction of a broader talent pool of remote workers is opening the door both ways. Even if you can’t access that pool because your work literally can’t be done remotely, you can learn what people are looking for in a workplace with broader feedback across remote, hybrid and co-located work environments.

What matters in the way we work?

As you begin integrating new ways of working, decisions will come into play about how you will do the regular activities in the way you work. What’s important to you (your values) can guide decisions about what you will integrate and how you will integrate it. Anchoring into those values helps you reinforce the culture of the organization. How you build relationships, run meetings, communicate on projects, pursue transparency – all will be influenced by your values. As you discuss changes – remind yourself and your team of the key values that will guide your work whether it is remote, hybrid or co-located.

  • What values are important to your organization regardless of the way you work?
  • What activities currently reflect those values in the way the team operates?
  • If you introduce a new approach, how will it align and reinforce the values of the team?

Talk about it with the team. Keep the conversations open and ongoing to be creative on ways to do the work differently while anchoring into the values that matter for your team and your organization. 

What’s Next

As we move into this next series, we will dive into topics related to the way we work – meetings, accountabilities, productivity, conversations, camaraderie – and explore practical applications of what we have learned and how we can work effectively moving forward whether remote, hybrid or co-located.

Here are some questions to get you thinking: How are you working differently because of the pandemic? What have you already integrated into your work rhythms because of what you have learned? Comment below! Let’s learn from the experiences of each other! Email me your observations and questions to further the conversation.

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